Can Reishi Mushrooms Help You Sleep?


A good night’s sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, between rigorous work weeks, financial commitments, stress, and endless sources of entertainment, winding down at night is no simple task. Millions of Americans suffer from sleep difficulties and conventional approaches to treating this frustrating condition often fall short of expectations. Can reishi mushrooms help you sleep? Reishi mushrooms have a number of benefits, and we’ll explore if sleep is one of them.

There’s reason for optimism, but before we explain how this unique fungi can help, you’ll need to understand the problem at hand.


  • Reishi mushrooms may support better sleep by aiding stress management and supporting the body’s natural circadian rhythm, rather than inducing drowsiness directly like melatonin.
  • Circadian rhythm plays a crucial role in our sleep-wake cycle, and disruptions can lead to sleep difficulties and broader health issues.
  • Stress and improper hormone regulation (particularly of melatonin and cortisol) are significant contributors to sleep problems.
  • Poor sleep can negatively impact various aspects of health, including immune function, weight management, blood pressure, and hormone levels.
  • Establishing a consistent sleep routine and making lifestyle adjustments (such as regular exercise, limiting caffeine, and reducing screen time) are essential steps to improve sleep.
  • Reishi mushrooms offer additional health benefits beyond improving sleep, including immune system support, stress response management, cardiovascular health improvement, and potential anti-cancer properties.
  • Incorporating reishi mushroom supplements into a daily routine may help re-establish a healthy sleep cycle and offer cumulative health benefits over time.

Circadian Rhythm and Sleep

Do you ever just know what time it is, even without looking at a clock or your phone? That’s your circadian rhythm at work, operating unconsciously in the background, and keeping a figurative eye on the time. The circadian rhythm is our body’s internal clock and it’s a key component of our sleep-wake cycle.

When the circadian rhythm functions as intended, we naturally feel tired as our regular bedtime approaches. Likewise, waking in the morning is easier with less grogginess if our circadian rhythm is on time. Regular sleep and wake times establish a routine which allows our bodies to function more efficiently. But what’s going on behind the scenes has significant ramifications for our physical and mental health, especially when our rhythm is off.

Biological Functions of The Circadian Rhythm

How the circadian rhythm affects sleep illuminates just how important our internal clock is to our health. The circadian rhythm regulates the release of hormones such as melatonin — a sleep hormone — and cortisol, which is associated with both sleep and stress.

At the time of falling asleep, our circadian rhythm stimulates our body to produce more melatonin and lower levels of cortisol, and as we wake, our body produces more of this cortisol. When either the release of cortisol or melatonin occurs at the wrong time, our sleep pattern is disturbed. When this occurs with regularity, we fall out of our regular sleep and wake cycle, and conditions like Insomnia can crop up.

Cortisol is produced by high levels of stress, and as such, the more stressed you are, the more likely that you’ll experience challenges with sleep. Many people take melatonin supplements when sleep issues arise in hopes that the hormone will induce drowsiness, but this is only treating the symptom, and not the cause of poor sleep.

The Health Toll Of Poor Sleep

Most people are aware of the issues associated with a lack of sleep — irritability, difficulty concentrating, and persistent fatigue. While these symptoms are common knowledge, the effects of even short term sleep difficulties are extensive and impact both body and mind.

Immune System

Our bodies produce antibodies and cytokines while we rest, and these substances are pivotal in helping us stave off infections and in fighting bacteria. If you’re not getting enough sleep, then your body might not produce enough of these infection fighting allies in order to keep you well.

Weight Gain

Exhaustion and exercise don’t go hand-in-hand. A poor night’s sleep is enough to deter people from following their regular workout routines, but it can also affect digestion. Ghrelin and leptin hormones help our body determine if we’re hungry or full, but a lack of sleep increases the amount of ghrelin in your body, while lowering the amount of leptin, and as a result, you’ll feel hungry more often and less prone to feeling full. This can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Blood Pressure

Sleep helps with the regulation of blood sugar, inflammation, blood pressure, and overall cardiovascular health. High blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.


Testosterone is another essential hormone which is regulated through sleep. For men, low testosterone is accompanied by a number of unpleasant symptoms, such as low sex drive, weight gain, trouble concentrating, and depression.

Sleep Deprivation and Disease

When you consider how the circadian rhythm affects the regulation of hormones, it’s clear that long-term sleep issues could present with health conditions that are far more severe than those experienced with short term sleep deprivation.

Research into the adverse effects of sleep deprivation indicate that when your bio-regulation is out of sorts over an extended period of time, some serious health concerns can appear, many of which are life-altering. There’s an association between long term sleep disturbances and the following illnesses:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease

As you can see, there are serious ramifications for your health if your circadian rhythm falls out of sync and isn’t corrected; however, there are some ways to naturally steer your circadian rhythm back to a healthy cycle.

Repairing Your Circadian Rhythm

The first step in getting your circadian rhythm back on track is to establish a routine. This requires going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at a consistent time every morning. One potential hiccup is the weekend, but you should resist the urge to sleep in and stay up much later at night, and instead, stick as closely to your routine as possible.

If establishing a routine isn’t enough, you can make some subtle changes to help your body adjust to the new schedule:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit caffeine
  • Reduce screen time at night
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Increase exposure to daytime sunlight
  • Increase exposure to darkness at night

Sometimes doing everything right just isn’t enough. If you find yourself struggling to sleep and cannot establish your circadian rhythm, then adaptogenic mushrooms might offer the solution to your troubles.

Do Reishi Mushrooms Help You Sleep?

Reishi doesn’t make people drowsy like melatonin, but what reishi does is support the natural function of our circadian rhythm by helping with stress management. People who take reishi extract experience fewer symptoms of stress — one of the major triggers for restless nights.

Reducing stress alone can help you re-establish a healthy sleep cycle and limited scientific studies on rodents have shown that reishi mushrooms can also affect your sleep cycle. In one such study, rodents that ingested reishi mushrooms experienced longer periods of uninterrupted sleep and spent longer in the REM sleep cycle too. By balancing the sleep cycle, reishi mushrooms help with bioregulation of hormones, resulting in wide-reaching effects on health.

While human studies are lacking, anecdotal evidence for the effects of reishi mushrooms on sleep is very strong, and these particular adaptogenic mushrooms are one of the most versatile strains available.

Reishi Mushroom Benefits

Reishi mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, adaptogens, beta-glucans, polysaccharides, and triterpenes. These terms aren’t merely jargon, each has a unique function in the body and can support a healthy system.

Immune Booster

Polysaccharide compounds help kick start the immune system, producing helper t-cells and increasing immunoglobulin levels, thereby helping the body’s natural defense system against pathogens and viruses.

Stress Response

Adaptogens help the body prepare for physical and mental stress. Reishi is packed full of adaptogens and taking reishi supplements on a regular basis will help your body build resilience against stress before it overwhelms you.

Cardiovascular Health

Beta-glucans and triterpenoids help regulate blood pressure and improve oxygen levels in the blood. Reishi contains both compounds and regular consumption can help your heart health, reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, as well as helping to combat day-to-day fatigue.

Cancer Treatment

In Japan and parts of China, Reishi mushrooms are incorporated into treatment regimens as an adjutant to chemotherapy. The mushrooms have tumor-inhibiting properties, believed to aid conventional treatments for several different kinds of cancers.

Hormone Regulation

Adaptogens train our stress response and build resilience, and because cortisol hormone increases with stress and affects our sleep cycle, taking adaptogenic mushrooms can have a domino effect on hormone regulation by promoting calm and ensuring that you have a healthy sleep cycle.

The Best Reishi Mushroom Supplements

To receive the full benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms, you must consume them regularly for an extended period of time. If a product requires you to remember to take it or it’s cumbersome in any way, then it could prove difficult to integrate it into your daily routine. Brain Brands curate a collection of adaptogenic mushrooms for whole body and mind benefits.

Our Reishi mushroom capsules overflow with adaptogenic benefits, boasting 1000 mg in every capsule, perfect for nighttime or daytime consumption. Flavorless and odorless — you can wash our Reishi capsules down with just a glass of water as part of your regular bedtime routine or take it with supper to wind down after a trying day.

The beauty of medicinal mushrooms is that they provide cumulative effects. You won’t notice any significant changes upon initially taking the supplement, but over the course of a few weeks, you’ll inch your way into a routine and begin to notice changes in your sleep and wake cycle. Because our circadian rhythm relies on routine and affects our sleep, Reishi mushrooms might actually help you establish a routine and support it thereafter

What’s novel about our approach is that we create products for daytime and nighttime use. You can begin your day with our 7 mushroom blend coffee, gaining an energy boost and a healthy serving of adaptogens for stress response, and wind down at night with a capsule before bed.

The only true cure for an unhealthy sleep cycle is resetting your schedule. With healthy habits and reishi mushroom extract you can find the restful sleep that’s eluding you.

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  4. Sohretoglu, D., & Huang, S. (2018). Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides as an anti-cancer agent. Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from
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